Locke Teaching on the Family

In the recent years , the un-ending debate on the role of the family in the liberal society has more often than not been met with a lot of criticism , venom and passion as well. This contentious issue dictates that families ought to be governed by nature , tradition, justice and free choices of members. In his detailed debate about the family, Locke, the philosopher, illustrated  the various three distinctively crucial parts which are all closely related as follows:-

(i)The Government ( politics)

(ii)Family (Social component )

(iii)Education  (Some thoughts concerning education)

The government  (politics)

Locke, taught a doctrine of individual rights that some take to be the ultimate source of today’s major problems. In his view, morality and religion are not only  compatible with a government that aims to secure individual rights but that such a government cannot survive without supporting or mandating at least some minimal moral duties ,  this political thought , is widely seen as the number one enemy to religion, morality and civilization. His outright defense mechanism to the right to liberty and property, corresponds to the teachings on the limited government based rule of law and the consent to be governed. The major implications of these teachings are that one should stand up for their own rights to life, liberty , estate and equivalently respect the rights of others. Additionally, one should embrace and support the course of a constitutional government and oppose any despotic or tyrannical alternative.

The government’s role therefore is to sustain the distinction of families with security of the marriage bed which is at times violated and thus crisscrossing the intention of nature of increasing man-kind with a continuation of  species in the highest perfection.

Family (Social Component)

As clearly illustrated, reasoning, is the main law of nature that promotes the general good of all and which dictates preservation of all man-kind and by adhering to this law justifies the indispensable duty of ones service and honor for his own country. According to Locke, virtues , such as self-reliance, self-control and self-assertiveness , that elevate human freedom and dignity should be highly encouraged and upheld in order for one to be firm and focused in doing and defending what is right.  Incidentally, happiness is the ultimate standard to the law of nature while selfishness, unguided by reason and morality are the key leads to the straying of men from happiness. The purpose of the social component is thus to provide for the generation  the proper and ultimate care to children , without whom, mankind would perish.

Education (Some thoughts concerning education)

As far as parenting is concerned, it’s the parents’ ultimate and obligatory duty to educate, nourish and preserve their children.  Locke’s law of nature can be defined further into two sub-classes namely, preservation of oneself  and others respectively. As per Locke’s theory , parental love of children begins from self-love and therefore the love of  a child is naturally an extension or repetition of oneself. As a result of desire for continuity of themselves, parents are taught by nature to tenderly and lovingly provide for their off-springs. A family can only continue to thrive if there is continuity of producing and caring for children thus fulfilling the main intention of nature of increasing the population of the species of the highest perfection.

However, this law of nature does have some obligations known as penalties annexed to them to enforce their obedience. In the case of a family, these laws provide support for marriage and parental duties to the children. Every child is entitled to having both a mother and a father and since mothers are known to be soft to their children thus spoiling them , the fathers are meant to complement this within the household by being tough for the common good of the children.

Children are therefore better of both morally and materially when the marriage keeps the mother and father together in the same household with them.  In order to achieve this , love needs  the aid of law to establish a stable household where a father and mother are in partnership of bringing up their children and thus a family fixed by law forces the father to naturally get attached to his children ,complements and strengthens the artificial ties of the legal marriage contract. In order to bring forth children, who are a necessity to society, a family from a heterosexual marriage is necessary as the children will be raised by both biological parents who will love and provide for them.

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